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Quicksand and Passing Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 52 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Quicksand and Passing.
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Racial Oppresssion

During the 1920s, African Americans were finally free to pursue their own livelihoods; however, being a minority that was generally hated and ridiculed by the dominant white culture, they were engaged in a constant struggle to make enough money to live, settling primarily for the lowest paid jobs, and tolerating abuse and disrespect. In "Quicksand" and "Passing," Nella Larsen shows us the remnants of the abuses of slavery, through American women who were both black and white, and who had to learn to survive in a world where they were accepted as neither. Much of the mulatto population in those days was a result of abusive white "masters" impregnating black slaves, who were used for sex, as well as labor. These half-white women and their descendants often learned how to "pass" as white because their skin was lighter and, as in the case of Clare Kendry in...

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This section contains 1,547 words
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Buy the Quicksand and Passing Study Guide
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